Continuing our celebration of the culture and style of our favorite Spring-time cities, we take a fresh look at that oft romanticized metropolitan, Paris, through one of it’s most locally beloved arrondissements, the 10th, or Canal Saint-Martin.
Fans of contemporary French cinema will recognize the colorful concrete banks of this canal, originally commissioned by Napoleon to link to the Canal de l’Ourq and bring fresh water to the city, from movies such as Amelie and Paris Je’Taime.
Not unlike our own Williamsburg, over the past decade Canal Saint-Martin has experienced a cultural evolution of sorts, shifting from an enclave comprised largely of working-class laborers and immigrants, to the center of all things bobo (“Bohemian Bourgeois” – the Parisian hipster) for the city’s artists, students and well-heeled tastemakers. They come for the unconventional boutiques on rue de Marseille, cafes like Chez Prune and nightclubs like Le Gibus lining the waterfront, and keep coming back for the quaint iron footbridges and charming picnic spots along Quai de Jemmapes.
And just as the cinema has long been enchanted by Canal St-Martin, the people of the 10th love their cinema. Boasting twin theaters astride both sides of the canal, MK2 offers “an all-in-one night out” according to Time Out, complete with multi-screens, restaurants, waterfront cafes, and two-person “love seats”. Cinephiles who prefer a private love seat can pop into Potemkine and pick-up anything from “Fellini classics to rare experimental films by Stan Brakhage, and docu-dramas by Peter Watkins” recommend Time Out. If you’re lucky enough to be in Canal Saint-Martin as Spring transitions into summer, you’ll also have the option of strolling to Parc de Villette for an evening at the Cinema en Plein Air (outdoor cinema).
We’d love to spend a night at the historic Hotel du Nord, a magical place immortalized by a 1935 film of the same name directed by Marcel Carne and set almost entirely inside the hotel’s walls. Once a home for the many workers and sailors docking along the canal in the late 1800’s, in 2005 it was transformed into a 1930’s style brasserie in homage to the arrondissement and the film bearing its name.
Now complete with “red velour booths parquet floors, heavy zinc bar countertops and a cozy terrace fronting the canal,” as well as a library on the far side of the restaurant, according to Untapped Cities, it is the perfect place to spend a romantic evening bubbling over with Champagne and conversation worthy of Parisian café society. The only thing more sparkling than our conversation would surely be our bobo-worthy art nouveau accessories.
If you’d like to learn more about our Art Nouveau Lion Bracelet, Opal & Rose Cut Diamond Ring, Pearl & Diamond Ring and Pearl Pendant you can see them in greater detail on the website, or call to speak with one of our expert sales associates. And tell us in the comments, what Spring-time escapes are you planning? What must have accessories will you be sure to pack?
Did you miss our first Spring-time cities tour? Catch-up on with the Seattle city & style guide, as well as a tour through some of Seattle‘s most lush and reclaimed wedding venues.